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Telltale: Digital success is about revenue, not volume

CEO Dan Connors criticises the industry trend for sacrificing price points for volume

Telltale CEO Dan Connors has spoken out about the digital market's obsession with volume, and argued that even online it's revenue that matters.

"Daily average users, monthly average users, number of install, it's all very sexy, but the amount of dollars attached to the user is where, from a business standpoint, the rubber meets the road," he said in an exclusive interview.

He was also critical of the trend on Apple's App Store to dramatically cut prices to boost downloads.

"There'll be a giant sale on iOS where a major company may offer up its entire library for 99¢ and some of that includes $59.99 retail products at console. So someone just sold $600 million dollars worth of content for $7 million, and considers it a success."

Connors knows digital, having worked with the episodic business model since 2004, and his thoughts are echoed by other online developers like InnoGames and A Bit Lucky.

In the interview Connors also revealed his amusement at digital being seen as a new thing for many large publishers, and explained that whether they know it or not, most digital games businesses are using an episodic model.

"They're just calling it different names, there's a DLC campaign for everything and there's multiple DLC campaigns for everything so they're just installing a bigger initial chunk and then building off of it. Free-to-play with microtransactions is in a way episodic as well, it's just additional content to keep the player engaged."

"We're the only ones who still call it episodic, but I think it is what everyone's doing."

Connors was one of the three founders of Telltale Games, which has always focused on episodic content and digital distribution. Its franchises include The Walking Dead, Tales Of Monkey Island and Sam & Max.

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Rachel Weber avatar
Rachel Weber: Rachel Weber has been with GamesIndustry since 2011 and specialises in news-writing and investigative journalism. She has more than five years of consumer experience, having previously worked for Future Publishing in the UK.
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